CAITRIN WILLIAMS – Features Editor
The ring by spring movement is already in full force. With so many couples preparing to tie the knot, romance must be flowing through the student body. Instead, many students polled are not in love with public displays of affection on campus.
According to a Crimson survey distributed via Facebook and Twitter, 46 percent of students said that PDA on campus bothers them. All but four of the 124 surveyed said that holding hands was tolerable, 77 percent are OK with a brief kiss in public and almost 64 percent do not mind a tender hug.
However, when it comes to more involved displays, Samford students are not so supportive—32 percent think snuggling in public is decent, 14 percent find canoodling, which is defined as caressing or petting, to be all right, and less than five percent tolerate publicly making out.
But why are Samford students so put off by public romance?
“It just kind of creeps me out,” sophomore nutrition and dietetics major Hannah Gilliland said.
Others do not necessarily have a problem with public romance, but would rather not know exactly how people show their significant others their feelings.
“Ignorance is bliss,” senior graphic design major Caroline Mortensen said.
According to a survey conducted by Women’s Health and Men’s Health magazines, men are typically more supportive of PDA. More than 50 percent of men polled said they would touch their partner’s derrière in public, while less than 37 percent of women said they would do the same.
Senior history major Andrew McIntosh said he is not bothered by others’ PDA “as long as they aren’t making out.”
Similarly, senior public administration major Allen Dement said, “I have no problem with [PDA], as long as they’re not, you know, [having sex].”
Senior management major Laura Lynn Williams offered her thoughts via Twitter, saying caring needs sharing if in public: “If you aren’t gonna [sic] give me a sensual back rub in the Caf, then you can’t give them to her. Didn’t your mom teach sharing?”
Williams also offered an axiom for those considering cozying up with one another in public: “What would Andy [Westmoreland] do?”
Senior journalism and mass communication major Rebekah Robinson suggested that perhaps Samford students are less keen on the idea of PDA because “we’re a little prudish but for a Christian school, [Samford is] more lenient.”
In fact, Samford’s student handbook only restricts affectionate interactions by forbidding intercourse, heterosexual or homosexual, establishing visitation hours in residence halls and requiring that the student’s door be open at least six inches while a guest of the opposite sex is in the room.
Over 68 percent of students who participated in our survey think that Samford’s visitation policies are too strict, 32 percent conceded that the policies are fair and none believed that they needed to be made more strict. A case could be made that Samford’s restrictive visitation policies cause students to spend more amorous time together in campus’s open spaces.
Nevertheless, freshman English major Madison Thomas said, “I’ve never seen anything too bad. People mostly keep it PG [rated].”
Keep in mind that four out of the 124 Samford students who participated in our survey said they do not think holding hands on campus is acceptable.
So next time you are snuggling up to your sweetie on the Quad, remember that while the student handbook gives you loads of latitude, your peers may not.